2016/2017 Urban Forestry Restoration GrantKitsap County Parks received a grant from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Restoration Program for the 2016/2017 grant year. The grant consists of a Washington Conservation Corps crew of six that works on urban forestry restoration project for a month and is valued at $20,000. Kitsap County was awarded three months of crew time for the months of October 2016; February and May of 2017.The WCC crew has been, and will be continuing to work on a range of projects at Port Gamble Forest, South Kitsap Regional and other parks as assigned during the month of May. Forest restoration activities that the crew will be working on including: road and trail work, noxious weed control, tree planting, road culvert maintenance, tree pruning, wetland and riparian delineation, and marking trees for restoration thinning.
Root Rot Mitigation and Restoration Thinning - South Kitsap Regional Park
January 2017 - Root rot has plagued South Kitsap Regional Park for many decades. Park patrons have witnessed hundreds of dead standing and fallen Douglas fir and hemlock due to the disease. Winter storms have toppled seemingly healthy fir and hemlock exposing severely rotted anchor roots. Diseased trees can and have fallen without warning even in calm weather conditions. Over the decades more trees have contracted the disease and more trees can be expected to contract and die from root rot in the future. Because of the popularity of the trails and recreational facilities of this 200+ acre urban park near Port Orchard, root rot is both a forest health and public safety issue. The Kitsap County Parks Department has applied for a Forest Practices Permit to remove dead and dying root rot infected tree in the park.
To further mitigate the disease, the forested areas of the park will also be thinned to reduce tree to tree root contact; which is the way laminated root rot spreads. The smallest trees will be removed first with the goal of enhancing the vigor of the largest conifers. This will not only creates a barrier that protects healthy trees, thinning will also improve tree vigor and promote the growth of understory vegetation and shade tolerant tree species.
This forest health project started in April 2017 and is ongoing. Portions of the park will need to be closed, including trails, due to the hazardous nature or tree felling and other equipment operations. Please check the main Parks page for updates.
Newberry Hill Heritage Park Restoration Thinning
September 2015 - Restoration thinning operations have started at Newberry Hill Heritage Park west of Silverdale, WA. The thinning will be a three month project and impacting the South and East parts of the park, Warning signs and barricades have been put up to inform park patrons not to enter due to high risk from timber falling. The Seabeck/Holly gate is expected to be used daily by log trucks, so parking at the entrance to Klahowya Secondary School is highly recommended. Most of park trails are still open including Fire, Deer Fern, KSS, Bird Meadow and Wildlife Trails. Trails that are closed included: Ravens, Rhodie Hill and the east side of Old Loop Road between the south kiosk and Ravens Trail. All trails in the Northwest part to the park are open.
Removal of Rotary Park Trees
January 2015 - Large Douglas fir and western hemlock trees in Bill Bloomquist Rotary Park, a 12-acre site located at 3044 Madrona Drive SE in Port Orchard, are dying and falling as a result of root rot disease. Kitsap County’s Department of Parks which owns and maintains the park will be removing the diseased trees this week.
Thinning at Newberry Hill Heritage Park (October 28, 2014)
The 2014 restoration thinning at Newberry Hill Heritage Park has been completed. The roads and trails that were closed from July through mid-October are now open. Even with the care used by the thinning operation, several trails still need some debris removal. KSS trail is open but the west side section of Beaver Loop and Wolf Ridge trails are still being cleared.
Most agree the variable density thinning turned out better than expected. Because of the “clumps” of trees that were randomly left, the forest floor and shrubs were minimally disturbed. Where the low ground pressure equipment did travel, much of the brush has had a late season flush of foliage and will vigorously regrow this coming spring. To enhance wildlife habitat, western red cedar seedlings will be under planted in the understory gaps in February/March 2015.
Rebuild of Fire Trail
As a park of the thinning operation, a significant investment was made in the park roads (trails). Old Loop Road is now a completed loop. As was an old service road, Fire Trail was rebuilt. A road was reestablished providing access to the 30 acres to the west, up against the CK Fire District Station off Seabeck Hwy. Old Timber was reopened and required the installation of four new culverts. New gates are scheduled for installation on both ends of Old Timber. The maintenance of these roads will be ongoing and will provide access for emergency services and enhanced public safety.
Kitsap County ForesterArno Bergstrom Phone: 360.620.8907Fax: 360.337.5385Email: ABergstr@co.kitsap.wa.us
Mission: The Kitsap County Forest Stewardship Program engages citizens to advance a stewardship ethic that protects and restores county forest land into healthy, diverse forest ecosystems.
Vision: Forest lands owned by Kitsap County have complex structure and com-position; providing high carrying capacity for diverse animals; high productivity for plants; the natural regulation of nutrients and water cycling; are healthy resilient forests; and provide a wide-range of human benefits.